IDUMUJE UGBOKO CRISIS: TIME FOR GOV. OKOWA TO INTERVENE TO BRING LASTING PEACE TO THE COMMUNITY
By Frank Iroroh
Over the past weeks, the Channels TV Daily Morning Rise Program has become avenue for the parties in the Idumuje Ugboko quandary to tell Nigerians their own version of the root causes of the crisis rocking the once peaceful and serene kingdom.
So, at this point, I belief it is time for His Excellency, Sen Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, to personally intervene to bring lasting peace to the crisis ridden community. I will explain why it has become imperative for the Governor to add his voice in the crisis later but for now let us look at the numerous peace overturn which have not been implemented so far.
In his presentation during the Channel’s TV program, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Health Monitoring, Dr Michael Nwoko who is also the Secretary of the Umu Omorhusi, the Idumuje Ugboko ruling House, listed these peace meetings to include;
1. Meeting of Umu Omorhusi, held on November 8th, 2015.
2. Meeting of Umu Nkeze held on May 30th, 2016.
3. The meeting convened by AIG Zone 5, Nigeria Police Command, Benin City,, held on June 1st, 2017.
4. Aborted peace meeting convened by HRM Anyasi 11, Obi of Idumuje Unor, on June 11th, 2017. The peace meeting was called of at the instance of Prince Nonso Nwoko.
5. Another aborted meeting to be held at the Idumuje Ugboko Royal Palace, initiated by the AIG Zone 5, which was scheduled for 10 June 2017 but later shifted to June 11th, 2017 by Prince Nonso Nwoko, who eventually cancelled the meeting when Hon Ned Nwoko and other high chiefs of the community were already at the palace.
6. Peace meeting by Aniocha North Traditional rulers held at the office of the Chairman, Aniocha North Local Government Council, May 10-11th, 2018.
7. Peace meeting convened by the apex Anioma political elites group, the Anioma Congress, led by His Excellency, Chief Banjamin Elue, former Deputy Governor of Delta State, held on July 9th 2018.
8. Aborted reconciliation meeting that was supposed to hold at the Idumuje Ugboko Royal Palace. The meeting was convened by Idumuje Ugboko Development Union (IUDU), It was to hold on October 1st 2019. As before Hon Prince Ned and other high chiefs of the community were already at the palace but Prince Nonso Nwoko rebuffed them.
9. Lastly, the meeting convened by His Royal Majesty, Dr Emmanuel Effeizomor 11, the Obi of Owa Kingdom and Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council alongside some highly esteem Royal Fathers in Anioma land, held on January 26th, 2020.
At the end of the meeting a six point resolutions were reached and agreed upon by all the parties involved for settling the crisis in the community and a communique sealing the agreement was endorsed by all our esteem Royal fathers involved in the peace parley.
Considering the fact that the above peace meetings convened by both the Royal family, the police, the political elites in Anioma land and our Royal fathers, the highest custodians of our tradition and culture, could not resolve the problems in the community, it has become imperative for the Governor to intervene.
As the chief security officer in the state, revelations from the Channel’s TV interactions revealed that lives were lost, people were maimed, homes were set ablaze and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Following the recently aggravated media war, there is high possibility that hostility might return to the community, which may lead to further mayhem if urgent action is not taking to resolved the crisis.
His Excellency, the Governor as the number 1 citizen of Delta State vis-a-vis Anioma land should consider it as part of his administration’s policy of peace building and conflict resolution in all part of the State and should make out time to revisit the peace road map arrived at Owa Royal Palace Meeting to solve the problem once and forall.
In concluding this piece I would like to refer to point 1 in a submission on the lingering crisis in the Community captioned “The quest For Peace In Idumuje-Ugboko: My Perspectives: written by Dr Gabriel Ogbechie, in Vanguard May 21 2020 , wherein he stated, ‘I am in full support of the quest by my brother and friend, Hon. Ned Nwoko, to build a University in Idumuje-Ugboko. I have always supported this project since he first mooted the idea to me. A University in Idumuje-Ugboko could easily attract four thousand students. If each student is spending an average of 20,000 naira per month or 240,000 naira per annum, Idumuje-Ugboko and indeed the neighboring towns, could see an injection of more than 960 million naira every year into their local economy. This shall have a multiplier effect on rent, food, transportation and all facets of the economy. I am excited about it and I believe the Idumuje-Ugboko community is happy to have the University in their domain.’
Dr Ogbechie clearly stated the benefits the university will bring to the host communities. On a broader note, the university will help to boost sports in Delta State, Nigeria and West Africa as the first Sports University in the subregion. It will enhance education tourism in the state.
I am of the view that this is the type of huge private investments Delta State so much desires to create jobs and wealth for the people and efforts as this by Hon Prince Ned Nwoko should be encouraged for other Deltans of means to emulate.